Summer Buyer's GuideArchive
Comfort and support in an unbelievably lightweight shoe
Outside reviews the best gear in the Summer 2013 Buyer’s Guide, including the Trek Domane 6.9
Easily tailored to your body, with clever details and a surprisingly light weight.
Outside reviews the best gear in the Summer 2013 Buyer’s Guide, including the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition
As user-friendly as they are brash.
Roomy, great for heavy loads, and has a super-customizable hipbelt.
Extremely well balanced and stable but also nimble and quick.
Rapture for the watersports set: Goggle-like, smudge-free, water-shedding.
Ellie Greenwood, winner of the 2012 Western States 100-mile Endurance Run, on balancing big miles with a day job.
A souped-up recreational boat that can handle short multi-day trips.
Shows ideal tides, wave size, and wind direction
Sleek and chic but capable of holding off all-day cold and rain.
Lightweight but just as comfy and safe as heftier helmets.
Geology professor at Prescott College; winner of the 2011 Tour Divide, a 2,700-mile self-supported mountain-bike race along the Continental Divide
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Oakley carry-on roller bag.
Reviewing shoes used to be straightforward. Lightweight shoes were meant for racing, heavily cushioned shoes were meant for efficient runners who racked up lots of miles, and stability shoes—with a section of dense rubber under the arch, a.k.a. a medial post—were meant for people whose feet collapse inward.
Two truths: First, we need sunglasses for protection against malign solar wavelengths that cause eyestrain, burning, itching, headaches, and much worse. (And the corollary, that inadequate protection from inferior shades is worse than nothing at all.) Second, buy up for downright delicious visuals. But don’t panic too much over price.
Professional backpacker, author of the Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Roxy 10'6" SUP.
There was a time when shoe companies took their bestselling road models, slapped some dark colors on them, toughened up their outsoles, made them uncomfortably stiff, and marketed them as trail shoes. And guess what. Hardly anyone bought ’em. Thank goodness that those days have finally come to an end.
Several continents and many blisters later, we can tell you one thing: these were the six most versatile and adventure-ready kicks we wore this year, from the Sorel Derby LTR to Rockport Eastern Standard Casual Mid PT to the Clarks Originals Majorca, with a moccasin design that will conjure up our dad’s days as a scout.
After months of torture-testing the latest crop of outdoor gear, we've compiled a list of our 14 favorite items, from the REI Igneo sleeping bag to the Blue AC1 road bike
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Cannondale Ryker bike helmet.
Our five favorite gadgets for everything from recording splits to rocking out, including the New Balance Tri-Viz with four built-into-the-brim LEDs that can operate in three different settings; the Timex Ironman Run Trainer With GPS; and the Motorola Motoactv, a lightweight wristwatch that packs music and heart-rate tracking.
Still fumbling around with wires and a prehistoric bike computer? It's time for a performance boost. Here are six ways to enhance your next ride, from the headlight-taillight combo Light & Motion Urban 500 to the data-collecting Garmin Edge 200 to the iBike Sports iDash Phone Booth, which you can buy as an all-in-one bike computer.
Whether you’re talking sea kayaks or canoes or whitewater crafts—boat technology has reached a plateau where small advances, design tweaks, and material innovations make a big difference to enthusiasts. This year we see evolution in all categories, with the lightest, most progressive sea kayak in some time.
Ease your load with these packs, including the Gregory Sage 45, which testers loved for its back panel, which perfectly fits the lumbar spine; the North Face Minera 30, a simple daypack with a widely adjustable chest strap and lightweight hipbelt; and the Black Diamond Onyx 75, a no-frills, long-haul, remarkably light pack.
Outside reviews the best gear for the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Arc'teryx Incendo.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Linus Gaston 3.
Though there are many larger, better-known SUP manufacturers, Pau Hana is quickly carving out a name for itself with fast, well-priced boards like the fitness and adventure-ready Crossfit.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Tern Link P7i.
A whitewater-specific design that can take multiple hits and should accommodate just about every head size and shape. (It comes with an assortment of pads for fine-tuning the fit.)
These shells offer equal parts protection and comfort. We reviewed the Columbia Flyin' Dry, with its waterproof, breathable membrane and roomy back pocket; the Marmot Tempo Hoody, which kept our tester toasty on mountain runs and hikes during a windy season; the super-stretchy First Ascent High Season; and others.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 29.
From GoPros to iPhones, cameras are everywhere. But that doesn’t mean the demise of “real” cameras, as some have predicted. Instead, manufacturers have responded to the proliferation of do-everything smartphones by continuing to improve image quality while simultaneously piling on the best features that can dream up.
Kicks designed specifically for the female foot, including The North Face Single Track Hayasa, best for mixed road and trail runs; the Salomon XR Mission, best for long trail runs in rough terrain; the New Balance 890V2, best for a cushy on up-tempo runs; and the Pearl Izumi Kissaki, best for high-mileage marathon training and racing.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Blue AC1.
Think of them as smartphones for your wrist. The latest sport-specific watches will do practically everything but plan your next adventure for you. We review six of the best, including the Wenger Aerograph Cockpit Chrono and the Timex Intelligence Quartz Tide-Temp-Compass, which brings digital functionality to classic analog design.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Merrell Mariposa waterproof jacket.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Cannondale Bad Girl 1.
Where carry-ons are concerned, thin is in, and you’ll do well to avoid the wide-body rollers that can be cumbersome on smaller planes. If you’re looking for a larger bag to check, look for a balance of durability and weight: every pound off the bag means another pound of stuff you can squeeze in and still meet the 50-pound rule.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer's Buying Guide, including the Prana Piggyback yoga-mat strap.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the Scott Contessa Spark RC.
The performance gap between mid-tier and high-end optics is closing. Here are our favorite pairs of binocs to see you through any situation, including the Leupold Hawthorne 7x42, with its roof-prism design to cut size and weight, and the Bushnell Legend Ultra-HD, which are impressively bright and sharp—especially in low light.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the 5.10 Coyote Canvas climbing shoes.
Whether you're running rivers or just running back and forth between the house and the lake, you need the right footwear. We review six new water shoes, including the Sperry Top-Sider Son-R Feedback Bungee, the Adidas Boat Lace DLX, and the Keen Turia with its tester-friendly debris-blocking mesh upper and grip.
New technologies and improved designs make it easier than ever to get all of your gear to the trailhead. This year, we reviewed Yakima’s all-new blade-slim crossbars, which reduce drag over traditional round bars, and the Sylvan Sport Go, an extremely well made 840-pound trailer that swallows up all your weekend toys.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including 2XU's 3/4-length compression tights.
The latest trend in surfboard design is stout, full figures. All four of the boards we selected, from the short and fat Third World Exotic Surfboards Ghostbuster to the 5'11" Lost Bottom Feeder, are under seven feet long, maneuverable, and built with plenty of width and thickness to make catching waves easy.
These six gadgets, from the AT&T Pantech Element, a waterproof, Android-based 8.3-inch tablet, to the Mophie Juice Pack Outdoor Edition, which doubles the battery life of your iPhone 4 or 4S, to the Steripen Freedom, a tiny water purifier, won't revolutionize your life on the road. But we promise they'll make it a lot easier.
You can extend or collapse the Kialoa Pupu according to your height and whether you’re surfing or touring, so if you need one paddle to do double-duty, this is it.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Contour+ POV camera.
An airy, mesh version of the waterproof Moraga OXT, this shoe is the perfect summertime day hiker. $110…
A revolutionary design–spiral, elastic baffles–not only allows you to twist and turn at night, but also holds the insulation against you for fewer cold spots. Our Gear of the Year winner. $379…
Ultralight, waterproof, breathable, reinforced panels: all the ingredients that make up our Gear-of-the-Year-winning jacket. $200…
Masked in a proprietary waterproofing nano-technology, the multi-sport V-Lite Thunder can handle any weather condition. $90…
The lightest down bag on the market, this 15-degree, 850-fill sleeping bag won't weigh down your pack at just 1.4 pounds. $439…
Yes, Thule makes luggage, and it’s just as tough as their roof racks. Presenting our 2011 Gear of the Year winner.
An affordable zero-degree bag that our testers agreed was the warmest zero-degree bag yet. $219…
These new shoes are toeing the line between trail and road runner. One reason the North Face Double Track won our 2011 Gear of the Year award.
Ultralight backpackers will praise this 2,014-cubic-inch minimalist pack for its perfectly designed organizational pockets and breathable back panel. $175…
Our Gear of the Year winning bag offers comfort and warmth down to 15 degrees, and it weighs less than 2 pounds.
Sticky rubber keeps these lightweight trail runners glued to the dirt, especially excelling on mellow, rolling trails. $100…
With an extra 15 liters of expandable space, our Gear of the Year winning pack, the Deuter ACT Zero 50+15, works for day hikes and multiday trips.
Water- and wind-resistant, the Nau Lightbeam 100%-recycled polyester staves off the elements with a low-profile design. $175…
It’s sticky sole and lightweight helped, but it was the perfect fit that won the Garmont Zenith Mid our Gear of the Year award.
New to mountain biking? This affordable women's-specific ride dampens chatter with full suspension while lower-profile tubes make climbing easier. $1,550…
Simplicity is why the New Balance 890 wins our Gear of the Year award.
Thanks to fender mounts, our Gear-of-the-Year-winning road bike can, not only excel as a racer, thanks to a carbon fiber frame, it can double as a commuter. $2,630…
Light, fast, and comfortable: Three reasons the Bolle Vortex is our Gear of the Year winning sunglass.
This “comfort-performance” road bike is designed to keep your spine happy, while keeping you moving fast. $3,000…
Four-season performance with three-season weight: Introducing our Gear of the Year winning jacket, Columbia’s Peak 2 Peak.
Designed like a pro racer's bike but with a less-expensive weave of carbon fiber making it peloton- and wallet-friendly. $3,750…
Our Gear-of-the-Year-winning hiker stomps technical terrain with a toothy Vibram sole and breathes like the best of them. $110…
Overpronate? This stability shoe is all about controlling your motion, without compromising a springy feel. $140…
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Watershed Waterproof Tote.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Dry Case DC13.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Nemo Cosmo Air camping pad.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Jetboil Sol Ti stove.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Rab Fusion Pants.